It sounds like you have a good idea of the things you all wish to see and do for your planned trip over next year!
As you are thinking to visit Belfast first, with a stop in the Brú na Bóinne
including Newgrange, collecting a hire car at Dublin Airport would be a good place to start, using the M1 as you said up towards Newgrange. We have an article on vehicle rental
that may be of interest to you but you can also check with your chosen airline for their rental partners too. Please remember to mention travelling to Northern Ireland as this is a requirement of insurance purposes.
Two nights in Belfast
sounds super, the Black Taxi tours are well worth the time and we would also recommend that a trip to the Gobbins and also Dunluce Castle would be great if you have the chance too.
Belfast to Enniskillen
will take about an hour and a half drive time giving you lots of time to explore this lovely town. While Sligo is a great place to spend the night, you may wish to add a few of your other places of interest into the day, including Slieve League
, and finish at Westport for the night, this will make the following day a more relaxed affair as climbing Croagh Patrick will take a while!
We have a handy approved accommodation
search page for find places to stay. I have pre-selected Westport to get you started, and you can change the type of accommodation and location from the drop-down menus.
Three nights in Clifden at the Buttermilk Lodge sounds perfect, as it is a great base for visiting Connemara, The Burren, and Galway! While Galway
is a popular city there are so many things to see and do that it would be definitely worth the time.
Lahinch is a good choice for access to the Cliffs of Moher and the Killimer-Tarbert
ferry does save the time and miles instead of heading to Limerick unless you wish to visit the Bunratty Castle and Gardens which is a fine place to see. Ballyseede Castle Hotel
is another excellent choice of accommodation and a great base for travel into the Dingle Peninsula or Killarney National Park.
Killarney or Kenmare would be excellent for 3 nights to visit the places you mention and I would certainly include the Ring of Beara
as an option as while it is less popular than the Ring of Kerry, it is equally as stunning and a lovely addition to the Southern Peninsula
section of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Moving onto Cork, plenty of wonderful choices there, if you think Blarney Castle maybe too touristy for you all, then a trip down the coast towards Skibbereen or Baltimore may have some appeal to you as part of the Haven Coast.
Kilkenny will be a lovely addition to your stopovers, again plenty to see and do both in the city and the surrounding counties. Accommodation
again can be found using our approved accommodation search page. As part of Ireland's Ancient East,
counties Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow hold many wonders that will keep you busy before completing your journey with a couple of days in Dublin itself.
I hope this gives you lots of inspiration, and hopefully, your fellow members and some industry partners will be able to add to this list with their own recommendations!